Collins: 'I Do Not Believe That Brett Kavanaugh Will Overturn Roe v. Wade'

By Susan Jones | October 8, 2018 | 7:00am EDT
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) explains why she will vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - How can you be 100 percent sure that Justice Brett Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade? CNN's Dana Bash asked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Sunday's "State of the Union."

"I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade," Collins said, noting that precedents are not often overturned.

"And listen to the standards that he put forth, again, in his conversations with me and also in the hearing. He says, for a precedent, among established precedents like Roe, to be overturned, it would have to have been grievously wrong and deeply inconsistent. He noted that Roe had been reaffirmed 19 years later by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey and that it was 'precedent on precedent'. He said it should be extremely rare that it'd be overturned."

"You have obviously full confidence?" Bash asked Collins.

"I do," Collins replied.

Collins cast one of the deciding votes in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation on Sunday, despite her support for abortion.

Bash noted that Planned Parenthood gave Collins an award last year for her work on protecting reproductive rights.

But now, Planned Parenthood says Collins can no longer call herself a champion for women's rights because she has "sided with those who disbelieve, disrespect, and even mock survivors."

"Well, first of all, I had never disregarded, disrespected or mocked survivors. That is just plain untrue," Collins replied. "And I would note that Planned Parenthood opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents -- David Souter, Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Kennedy. They said the same thing: Women will die.

"And this is just outrageous. I have worked to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood over and over again, and I'm going to continue to do so."

As for the suggestion that Susan Rice -- an Obama Cabinet member -- might challenge Collins in 2020, Collins said, "I have to do what I think is right. And over the years, the people of Maine have trusted me to exercise my best judgment. That's what I did in this case."

"As far as Susan Rice is concerned, her family has a home in Maine, but they don't -- she doesn't live in the state of Maine. Everybody knows that. But the irony is, back in 2009, when she was nominated to be ambassador of the U.N., she came to me, even though I did not know her back then at all, and pleaded with me to introduce her before the committee, which I was happy to do because her family had links to the state of Maine."

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